Home / News / India /  Exports rise for 2nd month in Jan, trade gap narrows

India’s merchandise exports rose 6.16% in January from a year ago, marking the second straight monthly increase, while backing expectations of further economic recovery.

Data released by the commerce ministry showed the shipments of items such as fruits and vegetables, engineering goods, electronic products and pharmaceuticals helped exports scale $27.45 billion in January. Imports, too, remained in the positive zone at $42 billion though the pace of growth moderated to 2% from 7.6% in December.

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Non-oil and non-gems and jewellery exports showed an impressive 13.4% jump in January from the year-ago period, suggesting manufacturing was gathering momentum. Data also showed that non-oil and non-gold imports grew 7.5% in January to $28.55 billion from a year ago.

Official data separately released on Monday showed Wholesale Price Index-based inflation had firmed up in January based on a sustained rise in the price of manufactured products.

With the wedding season drawing to a close, gold imports could decline in the coming months.

“Trade data for January continues to fuel positive hopes with both exports and imports continuing their growth trends for the second consecutive month," said Prahalathan Iyer, chief general manager, research and analysis at India Exim Bank.

Imports of man-made yarn and fabrics, meat, dairy and poultry and marine products showed a contraction in January from year-ago levels.

The trade deficit remained high, though a bit narrower in January than in December, at $14,540 million, which experts attributed to a recovery in domestic demand and to higher commodity prices that reflected improved global confidence in economic recovery.

Services exports contracted 6.41% in December to $18.72 billion, the commerce ministry statement said, citing RBI figures, and added that this is estimated to improve to $19.25 billion in January. Services imports, too, contracted 8.4% in December to $11.5 billion.

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